BNSW inducts three Olympic legends into Hall of Fame

BNSW inducts three Olympic legends into Hall of Fame

Basketball NSW (BNSW) inducted Olympic basketball players Bruce Flick, Ken Finch and Merv Moy from NSW into the BNSW Hall of Fame at the inaugural BNSW Hall of Fame dinner last weekend.

Flick, Finch and Moy represented Australia at the 1956 Olympics. These Olympics were the first time that Australia had competed in basketball at an Olympic games.

Ken Finch was the youngest player on the team at just 20 years of age when he was selected on the 1956 team. He had developed his game at the Newton Police Boys Club, the Paratels Basketball Club and had represented NSW at the junior and senior level.

“Being part of the Olympic Games was an overwhelming experience” says Ken.

“We entered the Village three weeks before the Games and played practice games against other countries. Particularly memorable games were against the USA and Russia”.

Merv Moy was selected to his first NSW representative team in 1951 and played in the Australian Men’s Championships that were played in Perth. Merv was named in the “All Australian Team” at the 1955 and 1956 Australian Championships. This was a tremendous feat for someone who had only been playing the game for less than four years.

In 1955 at the conclusion of the Australian Championships Merv, along with other NSW players Bruce Flick and Ken Finch, was named to the Olympic squad of 16 players and then to the team to compete in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. He would be 26 years of age at the Olympics and would continue to play until 1958.

“We played the games against the USA and Russia at the Exhibition building. The USA team contained Casey Jones and the giant Bill Russell, both who turned professional after the Olympics and became legends of the NBA. My job was to try and defend Casey and I loved every second I was on court,” commented Merv.

Bruce Flick played at Camperdown as a junior and he joined Ken Finch in the move to Newtown Police Boys Club basketball and the Paratels club team. With Newtown he won the NSW State Open Championships in 1954. In 1955 he played with the NSW Open Men’s team at the Australian Championships and was selected on the 16 man 1956 Olympic squad along with club mates Ken Finch and Merv Moy. At 5ft. 9 ins Bruce was the shortest player on the Olympic team. Fellow Olympian Geoff Heskett describes Bruce as by far the fastest player on the 1956 Olympic team.

Dr Adrian Hurley BNSW Chairman (himself an Olympian) said, “These three players were part of the first team to represent Australia in basketball. They laid the foundations for all the future Olympic teams and players to follow. Australia is in the top three countries in world basketball today and we owe so much of that to pioneers such as Merv, Ken and Bruce.”